Release of Full Symposium Programme Announces Insight Into Lives of Women in the Early Medieval Period

Early Medieval Symposium - Explores Women in history


The full list of speakers for the 2015 Richard Hall Symposium has been announced, with new research and discussions concerning women in early medieval history included in the programme.

Following the confirmation of its three key-note speakers, including Dr David Petts from the University of Durham discussing his new research on excavations in Lindisfarne, which was infamously raided by Vikings in the 9th century, the Richard Hall Symposium now also includes speakers from around the Viking influenced world who will examine the theme of “Researching and Representing the Early Medieval”.

Organised by The JORVIK Group, the events and attractions division of York Archaeological Trust; the event takes place on the 20th June as part of York’s Festival of Ideas and aims to explore new research in the early medieval period, and the challenges faced in presenting this research to the public.

Dr Chris Tuckley, Head of Interpretation at The JORVIK Group comments: “At this year’s Symposium, our speakers are covering a wide range of early medieval subjects, with some looking at the evidence for women’s lives during this period”.

Guest speakers at the 2015 Symposium include established researchers, and scholars early in their career, from universities and museums around the world.

“Throughout his career, Dr Richard Hall, from whom this event takes its name, gave support and encouragement to up-and-coming archaeologists and historians, and the Symposium programme reflects this”, explains Dr Tuckley.

Speakers also include Julie Gibson, Lecturer and County Archaeologist for Orkney at the University of the Highlands & Islands, who presents her topic regarding one of her most exciting research projects: the remains of a woman found on the beach in Scar, Orkney, with evidence of her being interred in a traditional Viking boat burial.

Newly announced on the programme are Heta Aali of the University of Turku, Finland, with a talk on representations of Merovingian queens, and Santa Jansone, an independent academic who aims to look at the possible reconstruction of Scandinavian female dress in Grobin, an important settlement in early medieval Latvia.

The Symposium takes place in the Rahtz Lecture Theatre, King’s Manor, York on Saturday 20th June 2015. Tickets are £25, or £20 for students.

The full programme now includes eight different speakers throughout the day. A VIP reception at JORVIK following the conference is available to delegates at an additional £10. This is an opportunity to meet with speakers informally and explore ways in which York Archaeological Trust have successfully presented the early medieval period to the general public

To see the full programme, book tickets or for any other information, visit or call 01904 615505.


Notes to Editors

Full Symposium Programme

-David Petts, University of Durham, Lindisfarne: A Monastery And Its Legacy

-Artis Aboltins, Independent, From Iron Fragments To Helmet: An Attempt To Recreate A Vendel-Period Helmet From Grobin

-Santa Jansone, independent, A Possible Reconstruction Of Scandinavian Female Dress In Grobin

-Julie Gibson, University of the Highlands and Islands, The Passing Of A Powerful Woman:  The Scar, Orkney, Boat Grave Discussed In Terms Of Sacrifice And Sentiment

-Christopher Monk, independent, Textus Roffensis: Turn The Pages Of This ‘Hidden Treasure’

-Karl Alvestad, University of Winchester, Ships And A Nation

-Heta Aali, University of Turku, Representing The Early Medieval Merovingian Queens In Nineteenth-Century France

-Edmund Southworth, Manx National Heritage, The Norse Kingdom Of Mann: The Changing Face Of Manx Vikings

Cost: £25 adult, £20 conc, student & Friends of YAT

Price includes morning/afternoon refreshments and lunch

Press Passes are available on request.

The JORVIK Group comprises:

JORVIK Viking Centre


Barley Hall

The Henry VII Experience at Micklegate Bar

The Richard III Experience at Monk Bar

and manages the JORVIK Viking and JORVIK Medieval Festival.

The JORVIK Group is owned by York Archaeological Trust, an independent charity which investigates the past for the benefit of present communities and future generations. More information on all the JORVIK Group:

York Archaeological Trust

York Archaeological Trust (YAT) is an independent charity which investigates the past for the benefit of present communities and future generations. With over 40 years of expansion and experience in linking professional skills and expertise in the practise of archaeology across the U.K., it carries out carefully targeted and cost effective archaeological recording, excavation and research for a broad range of clients and partners.

Since its inception YAT has grown to be one of the UK’s biggest archaeological organisations, taking part in over 350 excavations and 1400 watching briefs, growing from its head office in York, to extend to three further offices in Glasgow, Sheffield and Nottingham.

YAT has an ongoing commitment to community involvement, education and training in archaeology, and the presentation of archaeological discoveries to the public through a number of innovative and dynamic ways including visitor attractions, lectures, publications and events.

More information can be found at

Image Caption:

Viking woman marches during JORVIK Viking Festival in York. Credit, York Archaeological Trust.

For further media information, please contact:

Simon Alnaimi – Marketing Assistant

01904 543413


Paul Whiting – Marketing Manager

01904 543433